It's no secret that I absolutely love Lithe Escape. I've said many times that it's my retirement plan. This trip to Mexico was rushed, but I'd rather throw a small trip together in a month's time than not go at all.
In just four short days, seven strangers completed 15 hours of Lithe Escape fitness, cleaned up their diets (without going hungry), lost more than a total of 40 inches, pushed each other to their physical limits, supported each other, and became fast friends.
Lithe Escape is a heck of a lot of work, but it's some of the most gratifying work that I get to do. Why? It all boils down to the power of positive, authentic people which is truly what Lithe is all about. Sure, Lithe is a workout at its core, but more so, it's a network of great people who embrace fitness, and a healthy lifestyle. Lithe is all about inspiring and empowering people, lifting their spirits, and cheering them on to achieve their goals. Sure, we've always been all about the pack mentality, but we're also about believing in ourselves, and working hard to achieve our goals individually.
No matter how driven and confident you are, it's near impossible to achieve your goals if you surround yourself with negative people who make you doubt yourself when the seas get rough. Are there people in your life that attempt to cripple or sabotage your goals? Sometimes it may not even be obvious - you have to look closely - they may completely support your interests while making you doubt yourself at the same time.
All relationships should be built on a real desire to see each other healthy, happy and successful, and if someone important in your life tries to persuade you to give up on your dreams (even if they think they are acting in your best interest), be true to you. It can take some serious self-confidence and determination to ignore their opinions, but it's so important to keep your eye on the prize and release them from your life, and onto their greater destiny.
In my late twenties I was dating a man that I was very much in love with. I was teaching at a studio in North Jersey where the owner was a real mentor to me – she let me rent space to train my clients and teach my "Pilates-Evolved" workouts, as I called them at the time.
After a year of teaching at said studio, I built a real following and I realized that I had started to create something really special. My boyfriend and I moved to Philadelphia to be closer to our families, and I decided to open up Lithe: A Pilates-Evolved Studio right in the middle of the brownfields of Northern Liberties in 2005. I knew that it was time to turn my passion into a real business and I was dead set on digging my heels in to achieve my dream.
When I initially told my boyfriend my plans of opening up my own studio, he tried to persuade me not to do it. He thought that my idea was way too risky. He thought that I would make more money (and have far less stress) if I worked for someone else. He gave me all sorts of reasons why I couldn't and shouldn't do my own thing. He would say, "Who is going to trust you teaching this new method? Why would you want to open a studio in a new city in really sketchy area without ONE customer? "It's too much. What are you thinking? Why not just work for someone else?"
I was hell bent, of course, and looking back now, I think that he was drawing from his own life, because at the time his company was going through rough times. Even though his doubts were coming from a good (and valid) place, I don't think that he realized that he was absolutely killing my self-esteem.
Thankfully, our relationship didn't work out and about three years ago he messaged me to tell me that he was proud of me, admitted he was wrong, and also apologized for trying to discourage me back in the day. I was happy that he recognized how through my work, I had been trying to inspire others to become the best they can be – and it really has been worth taking many risks.
Fast-forward a few years and now I find myself preaching to everyone to follow their dreams and never give up regardless of what's standing in their way. It's my best friend, business partner (and husband) Jordan that lifts me up and always reminds me to never give up, to never listen to the negative people who doubt me, or don't want to see me succeed. Having an awesome support system from him is what keeps me going, and inspires me to never give up on what's important. And honestly, it's his incredible positivity that has propelled me forward and allows me to have this amazing, successful brand and wonderful community that I (we) enjoy today.
Surround yourself with authentic, positive people that push you towards greatness and stand by you through thick and thin. Water always seeks it's own level, you know what I mean? Spend your time with those who inspire you to be your best version of yourself and are willing to tread through rough seas with you. Don't except anything less.
Speaking of treading through rough seas together, Lithe Escape always reminds me of the roots of the culture that we've created at Lithe and over the past few days, I've witnessed seven women lift each other up and become the best versions of themselves, and honestly it's SO contagious. I hope you run into a few of them this week. If you do, make sure you soak up some of their radiant positivity!
Image of a few Lithe Escapees, pre-workout at Amansala via Lauren